Hamilton based and Movac backed technology start-up IndieReign is shaking up the movie industry and positioning itself as the home of independent film. IndieReign seeks to disrupt the outdated Hollywood model and re-invent film distribution. IndieReign has developed technology that connects filmmakers to their audience utilising the power of social media.
The film industry is rapidly changing and for an independent filmmaker, the opportunity to create a film has never been easier, but the current distribution model and potential revenue stream leaves the 99% without the ability to market and sell their films. For example, over 10,000 films are submitted to Sundance Film Festival each year; yet only 1% will receive a distribution deal.
On the other side, viewing habits are changing. There were 100 million less movie tickets sold this summer than were sold 10 years ago in North America, yet over that same 10-year period, film content has exploded. Viewing habits have changed driven by advancements in hardware technology and the viewer’s ability to connect with content over the Internet and the movie industry is struggling to adapt to these changes.
IndieReign’s unique model revolves around rewarding users for sharing and promoting films to their social networks. “We help filmmakers sell more films, by providing an army of incentivized promoters who are rewarded for sharing. This allows filmmakers to reach outside their existing social networks. We are gamifying film distribution” said founder David White.
IndieReign’s technology provides filmmakers with a suite of marketing and sales tools, enabling filmmakers to take control of their own distribution. The technology allows a film to be purchased in-player wherever the trailer is shared, providing a seamless preview to purchase process and according to White, resulting in far higher conversion rates.
International film distribution companies Vanguard and Cinify have reached an agreement with IndieReign to provide their back catalogues representing over 1,000 films. White said that these films are being encoded and loaded as part of an on going roll out programme and will be available to IndieReign’s customers.
White is currently in residence at the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco. IndieReign was invited to participate in a new program called Project Catapult. The program is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and private sponsors. Project Catapult participants spend four weeks at the Kiwi Landing Pad to validate and accelerate the design and development of their products and business models. They are able to connect with relevant people and organisations in the heart of the global tech entrepreneurialism.
“New Zealand really is leading the way with innovation in the film industry” said, White. “We have found that undertaking a global play from New Zealand has not been an issue and is actually being perceived as a positive by American companies. New Zealand’s filmmaking brand is very strong, thanks to people like Peter Jackson and companies like Weta Digital.”